Jury Finds Tulsa Police Officer Not Guilty in Shooting of Unarmed Man
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 28, 2017,
May 28, 2017, 8:25
At right is Crutcher family attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons. She also contended through her lawyer she was suffering from "auditory exclusion" and did not hear other officers arrive and one state that he had his Taser ready.
In closing arguments, defense attorney Shannon McMurray called on jurors to acquit Shelby, saying police have to make split-second decisions in tense situations. Some were seen holding signs in support of Betty Shelby.
Crutcher's family has said that police have attempted to "demonize" Crutcher for having drugs and distract from the fact that he did not have a gun at the time of the encounter.
On Wednesday jurors in Tulsa found the white police officer who killed Crutcher, Betty Jo Shelby not guilty in the fatal engagement with Mr. Crutcher.
Outside the courthouse, a crowd of about 100 had gathered.
Rev. Joey Crutcher, father of the 40-year-old shooting victim, reportedly said: "Let it be known that I believe in my heart that Betty Shelby got away with murder".
Jurors will then to decide if Tulsa officer Betty Jo Shelby went too far September 16 when she killed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher. But as Crutcher neared his vehicle, Shelby said his hands went down to his sides, and that's when, she claimed, she feared he was going to reach into his vehicle to retrieve a weapon. Earlier this week, Shelby stated that it was the scariest moment of her life and that she was filled with fear.
The Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office said that Crutcher had 96 nanograms per milliliter of the hallucinogenic drug PCP in his bloodstream at the time of his death.
No guns were found inside Crutcher's vehicle.
Relatives of motorist Terence Crutcher burst into tears after jurors in Tulsa, Oklahoma found Betty Jo Shelby not guilty over the shooting, which helped to galvanise the Black Lives Matter movement.
About 50 protesters gathered outside the courthouse in downtown Tulsa and chanted "no justice, no peace" after the verdict was read. "No Racist Police." The demonstration was peaceful and dispersed later in the evening. Police kept a relatively low profile, standing about a block away.
The incident was caught on police helicopter video and a dashboard camera, and footage from the shooting was released later, triggering protests as the latest in a high-profile string of unarmed police shootings in recent years.
During her testimony, Shelby said she was driving to assist an officer with a domestic dispute when she saw Crutcher standing in the middle of the highway with his head down on his chest.